الجمعة , يونيو 4 2021

Toxic alcohol ‘supplier’ arrested

Wife of Mansingh, 52, who died after consuming bootleg liquor, cries outside their house in a slum in Mumbai, India, June 20, 2015.

The death toll has risen to 102

Police in the Indian capital Delhi say they have arrested a man who supplied the toxic alcohol which has killed more than 100 people in the city of Mumbai.

The 26-year-old man smuggled the alcohol from neighbouring Gujarat state and delivered it to local dealers in Mumbai, the police said.

The liquor was then sold from illegal liquor vends in Mumbai.

Toxic alcohol deaths are a regular occurrence in India, where people often drink cheap bootleg liquor.

The death toll in the latest incident has risen to 102, and 40 others, suffering from symptoms of poisoning, are being treated in hospitals.

Seven people, including two women, have been already arrested in Mumbai in connection with the incident.

Police said Mohammed Latif Khan, the main supplier, had fled Mumbai after the incident and had been staying at a friend’s place in Delhi.

“During questioning, we got to know that the suspect used to source the illicit liquor from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad [city],” a police official told The Indian Express.

Gujarat is the only state in India where alcohol is totally prohibited by law.

Police suspect the deaths were caused by methanol poisoning, but are still awaiting reports.

Distilling alcohol safely requires a precise control of the temperature, because if that rises above a certain level then methyl alcohol can form.

Sometimes, certain herbs or chemicals might be added to increase the strength or improve the flavour, and these can react badly with other chemicals.

At least 29 people were killed after consuming toxic alcohol in Uttar Pradesh state in January.

India has witnessed many other incidents of toxic alcohol deaths in the past:

  • Nearly 170 people died in 2011 in the eastern state of West Bengal
  • At least 30 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh in September 2009
  • More than 100 people were killed in Gujarat in July 2009

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